Today’s idea came after watching the play through of Star Wars Episode 1: Queen’s Gambit by the Dice Tower (video here), a rather excellent game that I had heard of, but never actually seen or played (due to it being out of print for a long time). I think it is a really good example of having quite an immersive game with lots of detail, but a very clear overarching mechanical system that makes the game quick and relatively easy to play.

In short, each player uses cards to perform certain actions with their characters or units in the game. Each round a player will draw a certain number of cards, and then arrange some of them in a stack. Then each player players one card at a time from their stack, choosing what to do with each card as it is drawn. The key part is that most cards have 2 or more options as to how they can be used, and which units can be activated.

I was wondering whether this system could be applied to a cooperative game…

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Day 80: A Cooperative Gambit

This is a mechanic for a larger cooperative game. Each game, each player is given a specific role to play in that game, which comes with certain special abilities and tasks that they are responsible for. To actually perform actions though, a player has to use cards that let them act. These cards are distributed in some way amongst the players each round – such as drafting – and each card can be used by a certain number of roles. For example, if the Mechanic uses a card they might be able to repair a location, while the same card if used by the Wizard lets them teleport anywhere on the board (roles made up at random, in case you couldn’t guess!).

If a player has a card that doesn’t feature their role, they can play it face down instead as a generic, weaker action.

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This system would suit a traitor mechanic rather well I think – a traitor would be able to draft useful cards away from their fellow players, and could even waste good cards by playing them face down. Of course, they couldn’t do this too much, lest they draw suspicion to themselves.

The game could also incorporate more special roles than there are used in each game (such as is the case in a game like Pandemic), and the system would still work even if a card had 2 roles on it that weren’t in the game, as the card would just have to be played face down to do anything.

What do you think? Am I missing an existing cooperative game that uses this mechanism? Let me know in the comments below!